china military
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FILE PHOTO: China's military
Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, recently signed an order to promulgate a set of trial outlines on military operations other than war, which will take effect on Wednesday.

The outlines will standardize, and provide the legal basis for Chinese troops to carry out, missions like disaster relief, humanitarian aid, escort, and peacekeeping, and safeguard China's national sovereignty, security and development interests, experts said.

The outlines aim to prevent and neutralize risks and challenges, handle emergencies, protect people and property, and safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests, and world peace and regional stability, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Monday.

The outlines have important meanings for the Chinese armed forces to carry out their duties and missions in the new era, as they will make innovations in ways military forces are used and standardize the organization and implementation of the armed forces' military operations other than war, Xinhua said.

Military operations other than war refer to operations that do not involve war, like disaster relief and humanitarian aid, as well as operations that limit the scale of the use of force like maritime escorts and peacekeeping, a Chinese military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Monday.

The Chinese armed forces have been engaged in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic since 2020. They also played a vital role in saving the people from natural disasters like earthquakes and floods, which often took place in China over the past years, the expert said, noting that the recipients of disaster relief and humanitarian aid from the Chinese armed forces have also expanded to other countries, including many that received medical equipment and vaccines against COVID-19, and Tonga that was heavily hit by a volcanic eruption and tsunami earlier this year.

The Chinese armed forces are also responsible for counter-terrorism, anti-pirate and peacekeeping missions, including regular escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia as well as UN peacekeeping missions, providing public security goods to the international community, the expert said.

By carrying out these operations overseas, in some cases, the Chinese troops can prevent spillover effects of regional instabilities from affecting China, secure vital transport routes for strategic materials like oil, or safeguard China's overseas investments, projects and personnel, analysts said, noting that this is likely why Xinhua described the outlines as being capable of safeguarding China's national sovereignty, security and development interests.

With six chapters and 59 chapters, the outlines summarize experiences accumulated from past missions and practices, draw results from both military and civilian research, and standardize the basic principles, organization and command, types of activities, activity support and political work, providing the legal basis for the troops to carry out military operations other than war, according to Xinhua.